My dear sisters and brothers!
This week’s “Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson” will be less of a “lesson” and more of what I hope will be a source of encouragement and support as we move into the school year, the approaching winter and what promises to be a stressful time for individuals and the collective alike.
We are continuing in our movement through the death of “the world as we have known it.” As we’ve discussed time and time again, that which was not built on Love is in the midst of its collapse. The system built on fear, power, oppression and control, and everything that is part of that system is imploding due to it being inherently unsustainable. As Jesus himself observed:
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. (Mark 3:25)”
We are that house. Humanity is that house. As a species, we have built a world based on separation and division – and it cannot stand. We have seen the proof of this throughout history as one empire after another has brought about their own collapse.
Collapse, however, does not need to be thought of as a bad thing. The eternal promise of death is that new life is waiting on the other side. On the other side of the collapse of the Roman Empire, for example, was the Renaissance. This is what we are here for – to bear witness to the collapse, while holding space for the new that is waiting to be born both within and on the other side of this collapse.
Bearing witness and holding on to hope, however, can be difficult when all the world around us is losing its sh*t. As caring people, we can’t not feel the pain that others are suffering, and we can’t help but feel in our own bodies the anxiety and fear that seem to currently define our world. Our hearts can’t help but break over the increasing division as human beings, who have no skills for identifying and managing their own anxiety, react in non-loving ways. This is where the training and practice we have cultivated, perhaps for a lifetime, becomes critical. In the face of collective collapse, we have to learn how to care without caring.
To care without caring is to cultivate the ability to hold the world in loving compassion without being negatively affected by the world in its death throes. To master this skill, we have to:
- Hold ourselves personally accountable to our own anxiety and fear. Recognize when we are being triggered by the world “out there” and instead of reacting, turning our gaze inward to the unhealed wound within us that was triggered by “out there.” Engage the practices you have learned to support the healing of that wound.
- Maintain an ongoing, daily, spiritual practice. Whatever that looks like for you – DO IT! Maintaining our practice does several things: a) raises our resistance to anxiety, b) provides a foundation of inner peace that grows with practice, c) helps us to see through the eyes of the Truth, rather than through our conditioned seeing, d) helps us to develop and maintain witness consciousness, and e) helps us to develop equanimity – the ability to maintain peace amidst the tragedies and joys of life.
- Unleash ourselves from our co-dependent conditioning. We cannot save that which needs to die. We cannot save people from themselves. We must care for ourselves before we can be a source of support for others. As Sr. Judy Miller once told me:
“The most loving thing we can do for those we love is to do what is most loving for ourselves.”
- Seek out support when we feel like we are hitting the wall. Have your “doomsday” team on speed dial and reach out when needed. Seek out more professional support when that isn’t enough (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Create the space you need to witness the world in its dying, feel the world’s sorrow, and grieve it. It’s appropriate to be heartbroken when we witness the violence our species has done to itself, our world, and one another. We can’t fix it, but we can grieve it. Remember that grief includes: shock/trauma, denial, bargaining (“if human beings would just…….”), anger/rage, depression (and all its faces) and deep sorrow. Cry. Take a day in bed. Whatever you need to do to survive the world’s dying.
- BUT DO NOT get dragged down into your own destruction by the dying world. DO NOT let it destroy you! DO NOT die with it. And for Goddess’ sake, DO NOT SACRIFICE YOURSELF OR YOUR NEEDS FOR THE SAKE OF A DYING WORLD! As the prophet Hosea spoke on behalf of God:
“I desire mercy (compassion), not sacrifice. (Hosea 6:6)”
Caring without caring is ultimately about watching the world as it destroys itself while not getting caught up in the destruction. We cannot stop the world (as we know it) from dying, nor should we try. We cannot convince anyone of anything they do not want to believe, neither can we change the minds of those caught up in separation. All we can do is watch while holding those caught up in the death in loving compassion.
The Divine irony of caring without caring is that in doing so, we are creating the safe space that is needed for the seeds of the new to take root and begin their germination and growth. In caring without caring, we are doing our part in creating the new world that will be waiting for humanity on the other side of this collapse.
Thank you for being a part of the new!
*This post is a public sharing of the weekly Authentic Freedom lesson normally available for members only. To learn more about our membership community, go HERE.